Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a gathering of Indian-Americans from across the U.S. in Washington on June 23 on the role of diaspora in India’s growth story, an eminent community leader has said.
Prime Minister Modi is visiting the U.S. from June 21 to 24 at the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The U.S. President and the First Lady will host PM Modi at a State dinner on June 22. The visit also includes an address to the Joint Session of the Congress on June 22.
PM Modi will address an invitation-only gathering of diaspora leaders from across the country on the evening of June 23, Indian-American community leader Dr. Bharat Barai said.
The prestigious Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, which has hosted several high-profile meetings in the past, has been reserved for the Prime Minister's address. The venue, named after former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, has a capacity of 900 people, Barai told PTI on June 7.
It is the first Federal building in Washington designed for both governmental and private sector purposes.
Preparations are in full swing for the only community event to be held during the visit of the Prime Minister. A National Organising Committee of 25 eminent people has been constituted, he said.
The event would be hosted by the U.S. India Community Foundation. A co-host committee has also been set up. The community has been given wide representation in both committees, Barai stated.
He said earlier the plans were to host PM Modi at a giant stadium in Chicago for him to address 40,000 Indian-Americans.
But because of the scheduling issues, it could not be finalised. The Prime Minister finally gave his consent to address the community on the evening of June 23, soon after which he is likely to leave the U.S. for India, he added.
Meanwhile, two U.S. lawmakers spoke in the U.S. House of Representatives this week about the significance of PM Modi's visit to the U.S.
“I take this opportunity to address a very important visit by Prime Minister Modi this week. I am excited that this person is coming to America to extend goodwill between our two nations in one of the most strategically important relationships we have in the world,” Congressman Rich McCormick said on June 6.
Congressman Joe Wilson from North Carolina said that the existing U.S.-India partnership has been highlighted by PM Modi being warmly welcomed here in the House Chamber, Madison Square Garden, and ‘Howdy, Modi’ in Houston.
“With India as the largest democracy and America as the oldest democracy, both have shared values of democracy with rule of law opposing authoritarians with the rule of the gun,” he said.